If you are trapped in the lift with your smartphone today and Maintenance doesn’t arrive for an hour, don’t waste that time on games, or Facebook, or in googling yourself. Click up  Stephen Derwent Partington’s essay on young Kenyan writers and their engagements. It bristles with talking points.

Too many points to engage here of course, but it does seem to me (in passing) that Okot p’Bitek may be going out of fashion at the same time that Fela is hitting bigger and bigger stages. Yet, the two men were often stirred by the same Muse. I can just see them looking down, one scowling and the other – smouldering reefer in hand – chuckling: ‘I told you, you should have set your poems to music!’

Indeed, Fela’s lines were no less restrained than Okot’s. Here is a tame skit from Yellow Fever.

foolish
who steal your bleaching
foolish
your precious bleaching
foolish
you buy am for shopping
foolish
for forty naira
foolish
you sef wan’ yellow!
foolish
how you go fine now?
foolish
your face go yellow
foolish
your ynash go black
foolish
your moustache go show
foolish
your skin go scatter
foolish
you go die ooo (x naseum)

stupid thing
yeye thing
ugly thing…

Yet, laced with the opium of his bewitching music Fela’s songs never failed to go down a storm…  even afficionados of bleaching creams would stay with the groove when the song came up on the dance floor.

Looks like Maintenance is here… 😉 will come back to this subject for sure…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *